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[koh-kee-nuh] /koʊˈki nə/
Also called pompano, butterfly-shell clam. a small clam, Donax variabilis, abundant in the intertidal zone of eastern and southern U.S. coastal beaches, having fanlike bands of various hues, the paired empty shells often spread in a butterfly shape.
any similar clam, especially of the genus Donax.
a soft, whitish rock made up of fragments of marine shells and coral, used as a building material.
Origin of coquina
1830-40, Americanism; < Spanish: literally, shellfish, equivalent to Old Spanish coc(a) shellfish (< Latin concha; see conch) + -ina -ine1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for coquina
Historical Examples
  • The fort and bastions are built of the same material as the houses of the town, coquina.

    The Spaniards in Florida George R. Fairbanks
  • I was down to the coquina country, a-doin'—well, I was doin' rubes.

    Police!!! Robert W. Chambers
  • Inwardly excited, outwardly calm, he had seated himself on the coquina wall which ran along the lagoon under the Royal Palms.

    Quick Action Robert W. Chambers
  • He laughed, too: "You'll pay 'em if you take my map an' go to the coquina hills," he said.

    Police!!! Robert W. Chambers
  • The Presbyterian church is a good, old-fashioned, well-preserved specimen of coquina walls.

  • The walls are built of coquina of no modern thickness, but as if designed to resist a siege.

  • coquina is nothing more than broken sea shells cemented together by their own lime.

  • Houses in St. Augustine are built of coquina rock, which is simply a mass of broken shells held together by a lime cement.

  • There was no second block of coquina; Walter remained standing.

    Horace Chase Constance Fenimore Woolson
  • Perhaps because the girl by the coquina wall was young, slim, golden haired, and Greek.

    Quick Action Robert W. Chambers
British Dictionary definitions for coquina


a soft limestone consisting of shells, corals, etc, that occurs in parts of the US
Word Origin
C19: from Spanish: shellfish, probably from concha shell, conch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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coquina in Science
A soft porous limestone, composed of shells and fragments of shell and coral that are partially cemented by material that is high in calcium carbonate and has not completely hardened.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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